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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

The End of an Era

One in a Million - Jill Shalvis

This is the end of Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series, which, while not perfect (the middle books were pretty "meh" in my opinion), I still highly, highly recommend to anyone who likes contemporary romance.

 

There is one character (and I think only one character) who appears in all twelve books: Lucille, the social media savvy, octogenarian, gossip maven who has made it her mission to play matchmaker to all of the lonely young single folk in town. Sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly, Lucille has engineered the twelve happy ever afters that make up the series, and this last book features her crowning achievement: seeing her own introverted granddaughter, Callie, happily matched with the object of Callie's high school crush, Tanner. Callie and Tanner are both people who take care of everyone else before seeing to their own needs. Tanner gave up his college football scholarship to join the Navy and support his family when he accidentally got a girl pregnant (it turns out the pregnancy was not so much an accident on the girl's part). He supports his ex, his kid, and his mother financially and emotionally, and when his ex decides to remarry, Tanner welcomes the opportunity to step up and become a full time parent to his son, now an angry adolescent. Meanwhile, Callie drops everything to come back to Lucky Harbor to take care of her possibly senile grandma, and she takes calls at all hours of the day and night and performs impossible tasks to make sure her clients' weddings are perfect (she runs a wedding planning business), even when her own Big Day went bust when her then-fiance stood her up at the altar.

 

The two of them are so used to putting others' needs first, each foolishly believes the other when they say they don't believe in love and aren't looking for anything serious, even when it's crystal clear from the very beginning that each is developing serious feelings for the other. This leads to predictable misunderstandings and wounded feelings, but luckily Tanner and Callie have a lot of friends and loved ones who help them do the right thing, even when their own prior hurts blind them to the obvious.

 

I didn't love this book, because the I-don't-wanna-love-you-because-REASONS (in this case, I've-been-burned-before-so-I'm-just-not-gonna-put-myself-out-there) trope isn't my favorite, but it was a satisfying and fitting capstone to a mostly thoroughly enjoyable series.